Kennedy's family has long opposed the 130-turbine wind farm that would be located in Nantucket Sound several miles offshore from the family compound in Hyannisport. His great uncle, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, was perhaps the most prominent and powerful opponent of Cape Wind prior to his death in August 2009. "I tried to convince him not to do it, but he made up his own mind about it," the candidate's uncle, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said Thursday about his nephew's announcement.
Congressional candidate Joseph Kennedy III has bucked his famous family’s opposition to Cape Wind, endorsing the project Thursday from the campaign trail.
“Offshore wind is one of the resources Massachusetts is blessed with,” he said in an interview with The Sun Chronicle in Attleboro.
The former Cape and Islands assistant district attorney is a candidate for the 4th Congressional District, currently held by U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. He is considered a substantial favorite for the seat in both the primary and general election.
He told the Sun Chronicle that Cape Wind would double the amount of renewable energy in the state and create good jobs.
“Joe believes renewable energy plays a crucial role in the kind of comprehensive plan our country needs to bring down costs and end our dependence on foreign oil,” Kennedy’s spokeswoman Emily Browne wrote in an email to the Times.
Kennedy, who was not available for comment, supports the project as part of a diverse and robust energy portfolio that includes wind, solar, nuclear, fossil fuels and other energy sources, she wrote.
Kennedy’s family has long opposed the 130-turbine wind farm that would be located in Nantucket Sound several miles offshore from the family compound in Hyannisport.
His great uncle, the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, was perhaps the most prominent and powerful opponent of Cape Wind prior to his death in August 2009.
“I tried to convince him not to do it, but he made up his own mind about it,” the candidate’s uncle, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., said Thursday about his nephew’s announcement. “He’s very committed to green energy.”
The candidate had told him about his decision two weeks ago, Robert Kennedy said.
“I’m committed to green energy, too, but I think that project’s a boondoggle,” he said.
Robert Kennedy said he was out campaigning for his nephew over the weekend and would continue to support his candidacy. He said they agreed on most everything else but Cape Wind.
“I’ve lost the argument,” he said, adding that he didn’t always agree with his uncle Ted on everything.
“It doesn’t affect my support for him,” he said about his nephew. “I think he’s an extraordinary person and I’m going to campaign hard for him.”
Regardless of Joseph Kennedy’s position, Cape Wind continues to face insurmountable hurdles, said Audra Parker, president and chief executive officer of the anti-Cape Wind group, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
The Alliance and the town of Barnstable recently filed appeals of an approval of the project by the Federal Aviation Administration. Several other lawsuits over the project are pending in federal court.
Parker said she agreed with Robert Kennedy in his assessment of the project’s costs.
“It’s going to cost an additional $4 billion to Massachusetts ratepayers,” she said.
Cape Wind officials, who have argued that the project will help suppress the price of energy across New England, praised the congressional candidate’s endorsement.
“Mr. Kennedy’s courageous position is emblematic of the hopes and aspirations of a younger generation in Massachusetts who know we need to break away from dirty, imported energy by embracing our own local and clean sources of energy and the jobs that go with it,” Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rodgers said.
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